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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

Most Recent Whisky

Most Recent Whisky Review

Maker's Mark Private Select

This was picked by Mike Raymond of Houston's Reserve 101 as their 10th anniversary bottling. As the regular readers (both of them) know by now I love Maker's Mark, I love Houston, I love Reserve101 and I have very strong feelings for Mike.  But for some reason this one did not quite work for me, but give it a try as it might for you.   The nose is oaky with some fruity wine notes as well.  Sopem heat from the 55.65% ABV along with calssic vanilla, corn and cola notes.  The taste is hot and a little sharp at first with some black cherry, dark chocolate, jalepeno, burnt caramel and oak char.  The finish is pepper and even a little sour.  With water it gets creamier with some brown sugar and more vanilla. It definately needs a little water (or ice or time) to open it up.

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  • Monday, 27 April 2015 17:08

    As one door closes....

    Written by

    As I mentioned in my last blog entry, (The End of the Road?) I had reached a point where I was not sure what my next whisky related move would be. When I started the website in 2011 I had set some goals and by late 2014 I had basically met them and my website was less active than JaDaveon Clowney. Excuse me while I pick myself up off the floor after that brilliant joke and remind you all that JD Clowney was the Houston Texans first pick, and first pick overall in 2015 NFL draft, but that he contributed literally nothing during his first season and has so far spent his entire professional career injured and inactive.   I told you it was a brilliant joke.  Back to the whisky and so my solution was simply to back off a little, try not to worry about it, rework the website over a little and await inspiration. In hindsight this is clearly a strategy I have learned from observing the whisky industry and the fail safe marketing tactic for all tired brands; rework the packaging. If you are reading this blog entry then the website update has now happened (unless you are reading this over my shoulder while I type it on a flight back to Houston which makes you a little scary so please stop).

    Rather remarkably fate did choose to intervene and while performing my website surgery I have been offered a new job this summer based in Singapore. As my constant typos, errors, inaccuracies and lack of palate consistency clearly demonstrate I am no writer (despite my brilliant Clowney joke above!) and have to find other ways to sustain my family and my expensive drinking habit. From September 2015 I will do that based in South East Asia. This move presents me with an astonishing opportunity and exposure to a whole new whisky scene that will include, but not be limited to, the brands and expressions only available in Asia, new bars and whisky events in a new city, other bloggers to meet and lots of travel retail opportunities. I also hope to work in trips to Japan and Taiwan (and perhaps India) so I can annoy distillery tour guides with my note taking and ridiculous questions on the other side of the world! In short not only does my website get refreshed but in a few months but my whole exposure to the world whisky will be refreshed and a whole new series of opportunities present themselves.

    Between now I then I promise to use the coming months to iron out the remaining kinks in the website, work through the long list of typos (or as I frequently joke “tpyos”) and other corrections I have noted but never got around to fixing and of course will post some new tasting notes. If you read this and are based in Singapore please feel free to reach out to me and I will be happy to buy you a dram and explain the NFL, Houston Texans, the 2015 draft and the joke above. I promise you it will be worth it.

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    Random Whisky

    Jameson

    The whiskey that started it all for me.  I visited the Jameson distillery in Middleton in 2006 and started drinking whiskey with an "e" from that point almost exclusively until I moved to Scotland in 2009 and discovered whisky (no "e") as well.  

    This blend has a light nose with malt and citrus, like a baked lemon square.  The taste is classic triple distillation.  Sweet and smooth with citrus, banana, toffee, vanilla and oak and slightly drying finish with hints of leather and spice.  When you add water it becomes more honey sweet and floral.  Available everywhere, and I mean everywhere (bars, supermarkets, restaurants, hotel mini bars, gas stations, air planes etc) and always great value, this is nearly always in my house.   Proof positive that great whisky doesn't have to be expensive or exclusive and sometimes large sales numbers reflect the simple fact that the whiskey is very, very good.